Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Markets Open

Note: A tip of the hat to Joanna Pernick of Farm to City for pointing out these are Tuesday markets, not Thursday markets, as initially reported in this space. My apologies to all for sloppy writing/editing in the first instance.

Among the markets beginning their 2011 season this week are the Tuesday venues at Rittenhouse Square (10 a.m. - 1 p.m.) and South & Passyunk (3-7 p.m.)

I visited the latter location this afternoon, where Livengood Family Farm, Big Sky Bakery and Taproot Farm held court. Expect a couple more vendors, including Beechwood Orchards, to put up stakes there as the season progresses.

Greens predominated at both produce stalls, though Livengood also had strawberries ($4.50 or so a pint, iirc) and asparagus. At Taproot I couldn't resist a bag of pea shoots, which only appear briefly in the spring, for $3. They also had snow white hakurei turnips.

This past Sunday, of course, meant another trip to Headhouse Square. Tom Culton and Matt Yoder had fully ripe, large strawberries, $4/pint, along with asparagus, radishes, and greens. Blooming Glen, A.T.  Buzby, Three Springs, Savoie, Queens, and Weaver's Way were among the produce growers there, and the rest of the lineup didn't vary much from the previous Sunday.

Monday, May 23, 2011

 July 16: Ice Cream and Crème Glacée

Bassetts Ice Cream has been selling its product in Philadelphia "only" since 1885, but Lewis Debois Bassett first churned his ice cream maker in 1861 in  Salem, New Jersey, which makes this year the 150th anniversary of the enterprise.

So it should not come as a surprise that this year's Ultimate Philadelphia Ice Cream Festival at the Reading Terminal Market will make special observance of the anniversary. The event will be held Saturday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. While Bassetts will hold most of the attention, other fine area ice cream makers will participate.

When you're done gorging yourself on ice cream you can head over to Fairmount's Eastern State Penitentiary where Bastille Day will be celebrated and you can taste some alimentaire de la révolution from neighborhood restaurants, including, perhaps, more crème glacée.

Coincidentally, Bassetts produced its ice cream just a block from the penitentiary for much of the 1970s and 1980s.

Learn more about Bassett's history here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Local Grower, Local Buyer
Cheese makers rule at Fair Food's annual showcase

Crowds line up for samples
I thought I was still in Wisconsin.

Cheese curds and brats were all that was missing at last night's Local Grower / Local Buyer, an annual event organized by Fair Food to bring together buyers and sellers in center court at the Reading Terminal Market.

I counted eight cheese makers among the couple of dozen farmers and producers showcasing their goods for local restauranteurs and institutional food buyers .

Among them were a few well-established cheese-makers, including Cherry Grove Farm and Sue Miller of Birchrun Hills.

Some of the others, however, while they may be "artisan" in the sense that they are small scale producers using traditional methods, brought competent but undistinguished samples: cheddars, Emmenthal wannabes, goudas, etc. Even the blues at one of these cheese-makers, Farm Fromage, seemed so-so: they offered one designed for folks who say they don't like blues (yes, it was mild) and another for true blue-a-holics (it was sharper, but hardly up there in the pantheon of stinky cheesedom).

And then there were the excellent cheese-makers whose products I would be reluctant to purchase simply on account of price. That would be the case for Doe Run Dairy's tasty Hummingbird. It's a creamy, herbal brie-like cow/sheep mixed milk cheese that can hold its own on any cheese plate. But priced north of $50 a pound at the Fair Food Farmstand, I''ll pass it by. (Cheese maker Kristian Holbrook operates the dairy on the farm owned by Richard Hayne, chairman and co-founder, with former wife Judy Wicks of Urban Outfitters; local foodies know Wicks as the creator the White Dog Cafe and, through its foundation, the Fair Food project.)

Other cheese-makers at the event included Hidden Hills Dairy, Clover Creek Cheese Cellar, Shellbark Hollow Farm, and Your Family Cow.

The predominance of cheese-makers makes one wonder if curdled milk product is the next sun-dried tomato. Are they entering the cheese business because producer milk prices haven't kept pace with the costs of operating a dairy farm? How many of these new producers will be around in four or five years?
Full of Beans, and Scrumpy-licious

Tom Culton and Matt Yoder nabbed a prime spot at last night's Local Grower/Local Buyer event sponsored by Fair Food at the Reading Terminal Market. Local chefs, including Marcie Turney and Shola Olunloyo, flocked to see what he was offering.

Plenty of beans, since that's one of Yoder's passions. (Look for his fresh cow peas at Headhouse in late summer). Since Matt read my post about fresh chick peas last January he let me know he's got some planted.

Culton brought along a small supply of some hard cider he made, primarily from Granny Smiths but also other apples. He touted it as Normandy-ish, I compared it to scrumpy, the infamous English cider which is much more cost-effective for getting a buzz on than beer or whiskey. The clear and exceedingly dry cider clocks in at about seven percent alcohol, Tom said. No plans to offer it at the Headhouse Square farmers' market, where Tom and Matt regularly appear, but their CSA members may get a surprise at some point down the road.
Jersey Spinach Sale

Once again, Iovine Brothers Produce has got a good deal on baby spinach: $4.99 for a 2.5 pound bag. This time it's local spinach from Flaim Farms in Vineland, New Jersey, one of the greengrocer's major suppliers of local, seasonal vegetables.

Not quite as good as in early April, when they sold the same size bag sold for $3.99, but still a deal worth noting.

When this photo was taken about 5:30 p.m., only a few bags were left. Store manager
Lily Winoto hoped to have more in today.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pulled Lamb Breast

That lamb breast purchased from Livengood Thursday turned into a Saturday night pulled lamb fest. Because it was well-trimmed and much leaner than expected, the piece (a tad less than a pound) yielded three servings. Keep in mind the rib bones are not at all dense, so they don't make up much of the weight.

With the oven set at a temperature 275 F they cooked directly in an open roasting pan (no need for a rack when there's so little fat) for two hours before I added salt and pepper and covered the pan with foil. (Some recipes would add chopped onion at this point, which is good idea, except this lamb was so lean the onions would have burned.) After about an hour and a half more they were removed from the oven and allowed to cool.

While the lamb was in its last lap in the oven I made a Carolina style mustard-based barbecue sauce, figuring it would provide a nice counterpoint to the rich lamb which a tomato-based sauce would not. When the lamb cooled enough to handle I pulled it off the bone and shredded it with hand and fork, then tossed the warm sauce and lamb together. Served with cornbread and a beer (Victory's high octane 9.5 percent triple, Golden Monkey) it made a tasty dinner. All that was missing was the slaw.
More Markets Open This Week

Additional farmers' markets begin seasonal operation this week, beginning Tuesday in Mt. Airy. That market, under the auspices of Farm to City, runs from 3 to 7 p.m. in the William Allen plaza of Lutheran Theological Seminary, on the 7200 block of Germantown Avenue.

On Wednesday, the Food Trust opens Schuylkill River Park (25th & Spruce, 3-7 p.m.) and Broad & South (2-7 p.m.) and Farm to City debuts at East Passyunk at 11th and Tasker (3-7 p.m.), Oakmont in Havertown (Oakmont Municipal Parking Lot, Darby Road just west of Eagle Road, 3-7 p.m.). Earlier this month, Farm to City opened University Square Farmers' Market (36th and Walnut, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

This full schedules can be found at these links:

Food Trust markets
Farm To City markets

The Food Trust page includes a cool Google map locator; click on each market mark for location, days and hours. Another Google map pinpoints where the farmers grow their goodies.
Summer Squash? But It's Still Spring!

Radishes at Blooming Glen's stall, Headhouse
Radishes? Check.
Asparagus? Absolutely.
Rhubarb? Of course.
Strawberries? Pushing it.
Zucchini? Get outta here!

Still, in making its 2011 Headhouse Farmers' Market debut Sunday, Blooming Glen Farm featured little summer squashes, a.k.a. zucchini, at $3 a pound. I think I'll wait until my neighbors are giving them away in August.

In the meantime, one can be perfectly happy with the profusion of asparagus, early lettuces and other greens of all sorts, the ravishingly red radishes and fresh, green varieties of allium -- green garlics, green onions, chives -- which could be found not only at Headhouse Sunday, but at Rittenhouse and Clark Park yesterday, Fairmount Thursday and all the produce stalls at the Reading Terminal Market.

Another sign of the season being pushed just a tad (besides the grown-under-plastic strawberries offered by A.T. Buzby at Headhouse) were snow peas Noelle Margerum displayed at Clark Park. She returned from a brief vacation to find them ready to pick, so to market they came.

Tom Culton's radishes were a tad larger than last week, of course, but they looked just as fresh and the greens just as tender. He and co-farmer Matt Yoder also had what they labelled as "framps," in actuality a wild garlic. Asparagus, salad greens, rhubarb and parsnips helped fill out the stall. Tom's foie gras production has started, though his limited quanity was sold out yesterday, with most of his output marked for restaurant customers, I presume. He hopes to have some at tomorrow evening's "for the trade" Local Growers/Local Buyers event at the RTM sponsored by Fair Food.

Queens Farm yellow oyster mushrooms
Queens Farm was back with its pristine and colorful mushrooms, as well as greens, spring green onions and garlic, and flowers.

Blooming Glen's offerings, besides the summer squashes, included cilantro, parsley, tatsoi, green onion, thyme, oregano, garlic chives, bok choi and various lettuces.

If you've got your own garden in need of feeding, you could have stopped by a stall that's new this year, Bennett Compost.

Although not all available spaces at Headhouse were filed today, it's getting close. Vendors at today's Headhouse market included:  Root Mass Farm, Savoie Organic Farm, Rics Bread, Garces Trading Company, Hurley's Nursery, Honest Tom's Tacos, Renaissance Sausage, Made in Shade Lemonade, Three Springs Fruit Farm, Patches of Star Goat Dairy, Hillacres Pride Farm, Busy Bee Farm, John + Kira's, Happy Cat Organics, Griggstown Quail & Farm Market, Market Day Canele, Philadelphia Fair Trade Coffee, Mountain View Poultry, Weaver's Way, Talula's Table, Longview Flowers, Birchrun Hills Farm and, Young's Garden. Among the missing was Wild Flour Bakery.

So, how to use some of those veggies? Pasta is always a no-brainer, and it shows up the vivacity of early produce wonderfully.

Earlier this week I used Culton's asparagus in penne. While the pasta water came to a boil I started warming up maybe a cup of homemade broth (I used beef, but no reason not to use chicken or veggie), to which I added cut up asparagus and thyme (fresh would be best, but I only had dried) when the pasta was nearly done. Drain the penne or other cut pasta when done, swirl as large a knob as butter as you can in good conscience consume into the asparagus and broth, and toss everything together with an obscene amount of freshly grated parmesan and maybe a grind or two of black pepper.

It's an infinitely variable recipe. Had I felt like doing a bit more prep work, carrot juliennes would have been a welcome addition, as would some of Noelle Margerum's snow peas. Just add the veggies to the broth in order as required for timing purposes. Voila! Pasta Primavera.

You could also sauté veggies rather than simmer. That's what Mark Bittman does in his New York Times Magazine recipes today.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ochs Mural Photo Gone from Market Wall

Photo mural of the Pierce and Schurr meat stall
comes from same era as the missing Ochs photo
The 1940s photo mural of Harry Ochs and his father, which adorned the wall alongside the butcher stall, was among the items take by Nick "Ochs" Finocchio when he decamped in the dead of night May 2 from the Reading Terminal Market. It now awaits hanging at Nick's new digs, the Main Street Market in Manayunk.

The large historic print, like others scattered throughout the market, was made in the 1980s under the auspices of David K. O'Neil, general manager of the market when it was still owned by The Reading Company.  So when Nick took the physical print, he was taking something that didn't belong to him.

At the same time, the original photo probably came from the Ochs family, so if that's true, when Nick told me "It's my photo" he would be correct, in the sense that it's his intellectual property. Of course, when the Ochses permitted the market to reproduce the photo, they were essentially granting permission to the market to use the photograph in public. And while I imagine a lawyer would say the family has the right to prohibit the market from publicly displaying the photo, they don't have the right to walk off with a print that the market paid to make and mount.

All these legal niceties aside, it's too bad that the only physical remnant of the Ochs business left behind is the lettering signage on the meat hook posts. It's almost as sad as the fact that Nick and market management couldn't find a way to keep the business going within the historic market.
Iovines Clean Up Beer Garden

The Beer Garden, with latticework removed, is now more open to the rest of the market.
That's Jack Morgan, proprietor, stopping by, at far right
As anticipated Jimmy and Vinnie Iovine took over ownership of the Beer Garden at the Reading Terminal Market earlier this week, and they quickly made changes, though more will come in the months ahead.

The most visible change is the removal of the latticework that isolated the pub from the rest of the market. Now, with only a half wall around three quarters of its borders, The Beer Garden opens up invitingly to market shoppers.

In addition to a general quick cleanup of the space, the Iovines also introduced craft brews, both on tap and in bottles. The taps now feature Guinness and Stoudt's Scarlet Lady, along with Yuengling and a couple mass market brews.

For the moment, they are promoting it as "The Beer Garden (by iovine brothers)", but when major reconstruction takes place, including installation of a kitchen, it will be a gastropub called "Molly Molloy's," in honor of the brother's Irish mother.
Headhouse, Fairmount Markets
Asparagus, carrots from Tom Culton at Headhouse

Joseph Mack of Sunny Side Goat
Asparagus abounded at the two farmers' markets I visited this week: Headhouse on Sunday and Fairmount yesterday.

But even strawberries could be found, at least at A.T. Buzby's Headhouse stall. I demurred from purchasing a quart ($6) since they were grown under plastic. I'll wait a few weeks more 'til the true sun-drenched beauties appear, though Buzby's certainly looked worthwhile if you wanted to rush the season a tad.
My biggest find at Headhouse were the small bouquets of lilacs sold along with mushrooms and greens by Queen Farm. I miss the huge display of regular and French lilacs that Earl Livengood sold when he was a the Reading Terminal Market. Dwain Livengood explained that they didn't sell lilacs anymore because they are only at outdoor markets, where the wind does a number on the delicate petals. Dwain did have Lily of the Valley plants, with their altogether different but just as pleasureable scent, at Fairmount yesterday.

Although I've enjoyed chevre many times in the past, I had never tasted its source milk before yesterday. Thanks to Sunny Side Goat Dairy, operated by Joseph and Joanna Mack, I sampled some raw goat milk, and found it fresh and delightful with no "goaty" flavor at all (nor should it have any). In addition to various chevres and the milk, the Macks also sell goat meat (lovely in curries) and yogurt.

Last week Dwain told me he's now selling lamb raised by a neighbor, and plans to run his own flock. Among the cuts Dwain had yesterday was lamb breast, either in whole or riblet form; I bought the former and plan to indirectly grill it this weekend.
Weaver's Way Greens

Plenty of greens, including rainbow chard, at Weaver's Way stall at Headhouse last Sunday

Saturday, May 07, 2011

 Spring Bursts Out

Strawberries can only be a few weeks away, based on the profusion of asparagus, rhubarb, radishes, green onions` and spinach at local farmers' markets and the Reading Terminal Market. Above are this week's offerings from Benuel Kauffman at his Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce in the Reading Terminal Market.

The ramps I purchased from Earl Livengood at the Fairmount market Thursday were sauteed in bacon fat and mixed with the bacon bits to enhance corn frozen from last summer's crop. I adorned the veggies with three beautiful dry scallops from John Yi.
More and Better Beer on Tuesday!

The Iovine brothers, Jim and Vinnie, are expected to take over the Beer Garden on Tuesday, following the scheduled settlement Monday.

They will operate the business under the name Molly Malloy's.

Although renovation work will delayed because of some design nits of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, they plan to open Tuesday with 10 beers on tap, including local craft brews. In addition to some products of big brewers, the taps will offer Guiness (another big brewer, but one who puts out a unique product), Victory's Hop Devil, Yards' Philadelphia Pale Ale, and Troegs' Sunshine Pils. The beer list Jim provided me today also shows Sly Fox's Scarlet Lady, but that must be a typo: Scarlet Lady is made by Stoudt's.

Eventually they'll add some great bottled beers to go along with the standards. Among them will be products by Appalachian, Bells, Boddingtons, Dock Street, Dogfish Head, Flying Fish, Lancaster Brewing, Hagic Hat, Original Sin Cider, Penn Brewing, Philadelphia Brewing, Rougew, Sly Fox, Stoudts, Straub, Troegs, Victory, Wyerbacher and Yards.

Until the new kitchen is constructed the only food offered will be the same as under current management: chili dogs. But the chili, currently out of a can, will be made by Bobby Fisher, the Iovine's chef who works for their catering business and was chef at local golf and swim clubs where the Iovines operated the kitchen.

Fisher has a considerably more ambitious menu planned when the renovations and kitchen are completed.

The french fries will be hand-cut on premises and served with a roasted garlic mayo. Among the starters: wings in a bourbon bbq sauce, salt and pepper baby back ribs, homemade bbq potato chips and fried eggplant "fingers" with tomato jam. Three soups -- creamy potato, roasted tomato bisque, and veggie -- are on the menu. Eight salads are listed to take advantage of the Iovine's excellent produce sources.

Molly Malloy's will offer a steak sandwich, but it won't be your typical Philly cheese steak. Instead, Fisher will serve a char-grilled rib eye in a brioche roll with roasted bell peppers, caramelized onions and provolone. Two other hot sandwiches I'm eager to try (both of whose fillings will also serve as the basis of more extensive platters) include a braised oxtail on ciabatta with gtrilled onions and carrot ketchup and a roasted pork bell with apple-onion compote and fried leaf spinach on a French roll. There will also be a burger, BLT with avocado, sausage and potato, braised chicken thigh and a grilled cheese with goat cheese on brioche.

Cold sandwiches include sweet glazed turkey, lime scened chicken salad on tortilla with avocado, a veggie cream cheese, and open-faced tuna salad.

Besides the pork belly, other plates will include the ribs, fish and chips, fried chicken tenderloins and a braised short rib pie in a Guinness reduction. The small dessert menu will include a grilled peach shortbread with fresh berries.

There is also a breakfast menu with egg platters and sandwiches, vanilla and cinnamon scented French toast, and baked frittata.

I'm getting hungry.
Harry G. Ochs & Sons, 1906-2011

Nick "Ochs" Finocchio
Harry G. Ochs & Sons, a fixture at the Reading Terminal Market for more than 100 years, closed its counter for good last Monday evening, just days ahead of when the business would have been evicted for being $21,000 in arrears on rent.

I was out of state Monday when Nick "Ochs" Finocchio closed the shop, unannounced to employees, market management and fellow merchants. Since then I've had a chance to chat with some fellow market denizens and merchants, including its general manager, Paul Steinke.

In addition to the rent, two separate banks held judgments valued at more than $200,000 against the business. One merchant told me he was owned $8,000 which Nick never paid back for services rendered.

The problems started long before Harry "Ochs" Finocchio Sr. died in December 2009. Even when Harry owned the business, it was in trouble.

In an email to me and another market follower, Steinke said he worked hard to help the Ochs business succeed. "In fact, we have devoted more time to them than to any other merchant here," according to Steinke. "We met with them countless times. We arranged free consulting services for them with the Wharton Small Business Development Center. We offered them tenant improvement financing. We agreed to rent discounts that no other tenant was privy to. We offered numerous, generous payment plans (all of them broken)."

All this did little good, he admitted.

"As their account got further and further behind, we held off legal action for years in deference to the Ochs name and what they contributed to the Market, and later, because Harry was sick," Steinke said. Given the business's unlikely success, Steinke suggested that they call it quits, offering to host a large farewell party so they could exit the market in dignity, which Harry and Nick declined. "Once Harry died, however, we felt that it was time for the Ochs stand to carry its weight in the Market along with the other merchants. So we gave them one more chance," wrote Steinke.

The market and Nick negotiated and signed a new lease last summer but, according to Steinke, "he started falling behind almost immediately. So, after years of holding back, we finally had no choice but to initiate the legal process to enforce the lease. Nick filed for Chapter 11 protection in early April." When, two weeks later the court dismissed the filing, the writing was on the wall.

It was wrenching for Steinke and the market to lose the Ochs business, which moved there only 14 years after the market opened its doors in 1892. Nick's grandfather joined the business in the first half of the century and adopted the Ochs name when he took it over. Indeed, his son Harry was better known as Harry Ochs than as Harry Finocchio. When the market's future was threatened by the proposed construction of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, it was Harry Finocchio who was a key player in preserving the market and pressuring the center to renovate the then-dilapidated structure. Today, the block of Filbert Street astride the market is known as Harry Ochs Way.
"We are saddened by the loss of the Ochs name," wrote Steinke, "but I take solace in knowing we did all we could to help them and to maintain an environment conducive to their success. I also take solace in the general prosperity of the great majority of the rest of the Market’s merchants, who work hard, serve their customers well and pay their bills."
(The Finocchio family, like all of us, were not immune to tragedy. Nick's brother Harry died a few years ago, preceded in death by his young son Tim, who also worked at the store. When Harry Senior died he lost a two-year battle with cancer.)
There's no reason a butcher can't thrive in the market, as Charles Giunta has shown with his relatively new shop. Where Giunta's is strictly a butcher (having given up on his rotisserie chicken experiment), Ochs had tried to move into deli and prepared food -- at least half of the cases were filled with either items for reheating at home or Boar's Head cold cuts -- with little success.

Nick did less and less cutting meats to order in the last few years. I continued to shop there for chuck ground to my order for burgers, even as little as a pound which Nick and his staff happily provided. I would also occasionally buy a chicken breast or piece of lamb there, but Giunta (and to a lesser extent his brother Martin who operates his namesake stall as well as a wholesale sausage business) had won over a good hunk of my meat-buying loyalty. In addition, those who have more knowledge about the subject than I say that Nick's butchering skills, while good, just weren't up to the level of his father and late brother.

That move to prepared and deli items undoubtedly was an attempt to keep the business viable, since few people were prepared to pay the prices Ochs had to charge for his excellent prime, dry aged beef. And those who were willing to consider meat as an investment vehicle spent most of their dollars at Whole Foods -- my market sources tell me Ochs took a big hit in revenue when Whole Foods opened at Callowhill and 20th Street and never recovered.

There are neither heroes nor villains in this story. Just changing times that exempt no individual or institution from its demands.

What's next for the premium space Ochs vacated?

Steinke has yet to make a decision, but says he has plenty of businesses that want to locate in the market, which is currently 100 percent leased other than the Ochs stall. (More will become available when the market's renovation is completed late this year.)

One possibility I broached with Steinke would be for an existing lunch vendor to take over the space, which fronts on center court, and put a new purveyor of food to cook at home in that business's spot. Steine said that might be particularly attractive in light of the renovation of the market now underway and which will become more visible to shoppers this summer.

What you can be sure of is that no chain businesses will be allowed, nor will the market's ratio of purveyors (butchers, fish mongers, greengrocers, etc.) to other businesses be reduced.

* * *

Note: This version edited to correct earlier error to correct Finocchio family history in joining the business and adopted Ochs name.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Fairmount Market Opens

Today is the first day of the 2011 season for my local farmers' market, every Thursday from now until the end of the season at 22nd and Fairmount.

On-hand this week: Livengood Family Produce, Orchard Hill Farm, Countryside Bakery, Wild Flour Bakery and Sunny Side Goat Dairy, Renaissance Sausage, Market Day Canele and My Better Butter (which sells nut butters, not dairy butter).

Ramps gathered by Earl Livengood's neighbor, Sam Consylman, quickly caught my attention. Pristine leaves, large, firm bulbs, these alliums will find a place on the dinner table tonight, somehow. Asparagus also had price of place in Livengood's display today.

Dwain Livengood is also selling meats at the stall, including lamb from a neighbor. He hopes to start a small flock of his own soon.

Sam Stolfus's Orchard Hill Farm had bibb and buttercrunch lettuce, asparagus, two types of radishes, greens and beats.

Market Canele is going beyond that heavenly treat this season. Baker Gil is adding tarts and ia starting the season with the savory variety. This week asparagus was featured. Once the berry season gets underway expect to see sweet tarts. His pastry crust uses a mix of leaf lard and butter.
Milwaukee Public Market

On Tuesday, the last full day of our Wisconsin sojourn, I briefly stopped at the Milwaukee Public Market, whose huge sign I spotted from the interstate en route to  meet friends atthe nearby Milwaukee Art Museum.

Alas, there's not much market at the Milwaukee Public  Market. One fish monger, one cheese monger, one butcher, two bakers. With the exception of the Mexican restaurant, which sold a few items, no fresh fruits and vegetables. There are also vendors for spices, coffee, chocolate, wine and flowers, but most of the vendors, including the fish monger who had an oyster bar, look to make most of their money from lunch and take-away prepared items. There's also a sushi bar, soup seller, and a handful of other lunch vendors.

It's too bad that the local demographics won't support a more cook-it-at-home public market. It's located pretty much what had been the gritty city's traditional market area.

This market is a fraction the size of the Reading Terminal Market, with only 20 full-time vendors, so even the presence of one butcher and one fish monger should be considered a plus. A weekly indoor/outdoor Saturday market accents crafts.

The market is located in Milwaukee's "Historic Third Ward", the city's self-proclaimed "Arts and Fashion District" just south of downtown, with most residences limited to office building and loft conversions.

The market is about a dozen blocks away from what is one of Milwaukee's food meccas: the Usingers sausage store.